Arts / Culture

An Alexander McQueen retrospective is coming to the NGV

Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse

Alexander McQueen left behind a legacy like few other late twentieth-century designers. It was surrealism come to life in ways that spanned time, geography, media, and technology, cementing his work as one of the most iconic fashion visionaries of his era. His work was not only conceptually iconoclastic, but technically pioneering too. In 2022, when performance on the runway is often aimed towards Instagram likes instead of inspiration, McQueen championed the art of making us feel something long before it meant an uptick in followers.

Now, a portion of McQueen's life's work will be coming to Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria, organised by Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse is the first major Australian exhibition to explore the work of the prolific designer, and will showcase 60 garments and accessories drawn from LACMA’s holdings of McQueen's important works.

What will be included in the Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse exhibition?

The Melbourne presentation will also feature nearly 50 designs by McQueen from the NGV Collection, making this Australian-exclusive presentation especially rich and comprehensive.

Offering an insight into the mind of the seminal designer in ways that Australia has not been presented with before, the exhibition will be presented alongside over 70 historical artworks including paintings, sculptures, photographs, decorative arts and works on paper from the collections of LACMA and NGV, that reveal the myriad reference points that influenced his designs. The exhibition will feature examples from some of McQueen's earliest and most acclaimed collections, including the controversial collection, Highland Rape (autumn-winter 1995–1996) alongside The Widows of Culloden (autumn- winter 2006–2007), which both take inspiration from McQueen’s ancestry and Scottish history. In-depth presentations of Deliverance (spring-summer 2004) as well as his final complete collection, Plato’s Atlantis (spring-summer 2010). The exhibition also features commissioned headpieces by Los Angeles-based artist and designer Michael Schmidt, as well as garments originally owned by McQueen’s muses Isabella Blow and Annabelle Neilson.

When will the exhibition take place?

Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse will be launched on Saturday 10 December 2022 in line with the NGV Gala. A celebration of art, fashion, fine food and wine, the NGV Gala was inaugurated in 2017 and has since become an anticipated event on Melbourne’s cultural calendar. It will end April 16, 2023.

Where to buy tickets

Strictly limited tickets are available from Friday 20 May via the NGV website.


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